NFL teams plan to clean stadiums with drones and robots


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire to allow fans into their stadium in a limited capacity, the Atlanta Falcons plan to use drones to clean Mercedes-Benz Stadium after each home game for the remainder of the season.

The 71,000-seat stadium has partnered with Lucid Drone Technologies for the use of disinfecting drones to sanitize using electrostatic spraying nozzles that will evenly distribute medical-grade disinfecting chemicals that help fight the virus.

After barring fans from the stadium for their first two home games, the Falcons plan on opening their doors in a limited capacity starting on Oct. 11 against the Panthers. According to Lucid Drone Technologies, one disinfecting drone is the equivalent of 14 workers with backpack sprayers, a 95 percent reduction in time spent cleaning.

“The process of welcoming fans back involves actively listening and responding to their concerns,” says Dietmar Exler, COO of AMB Sports and Entertainment which runs Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “We understand that proper cleaning and sanitization protocols are top of mind in the current environment.”

They are not the only team taking advantage of technology to help stay safe during uncertain times. The Carolina Panthers have implemented what team president Tom Glick calls a “Germ-Zapping Robot” to keep their facility, including locker rooms, disinfected as well.

The Washington Football Team announced in August that fans would not be allowed to attend home games at FedExField for the entire 2020 season. Other teams, like the Panthers and Falcons, have begun to allow a limited number of spectators into their stadiums, necessitating these high-tech cleaning solutions.